With home prices increasing, heightened interest in the area, and a thriving population in need of housing, Encinitas is a seller’s market and one of the hottest in the Golden State. If you are in the position to list your Encinitas home, the potential for an excellent return is high. To get the most out of your home and the marketplace, a little more than luck and timing is required. With a reasonable investment of time and money, staging your home can yield maximum results and reap rewards — quickly.
First impressions are powerful during in-person showings, but as society has acclimated to more virtual options throughout daily life, making a great first impression via the internet is even more important. At this point, the initial look at a home listing is through a computer or phone screen. With the next best option just a scroll away, clean photos and intentional staging are powerful tools to hook an interested buyer.
Even with competition in the highly desirable Encinitas market, buyers still need to be able to visualize themselves in a home before purchasing. A skilled Encinitas real estate agent can advise on how to stage your home. After all, staged homes sell faster and for up to 10% more than an unstaged home. Ready to get the most out of yours? Let’s take a look at some staging tips that will amp up the appeal and show buyers the true potential of your home.
Start with the exterior
You already know that first impressions are everything — even more so when it comes to the exterior of the home. With some minimal touch-ups, you can easily optimize curb appeal. First, let’s make it a clean slate: take care of any dirt or buildup on the siding, gutters, sidewalk, and driveway with a power washer. Then, touch-up any chipped paint on any focal points like the front door, trim, and mailbox. We’re well on our way!
Consider hiring a gardener to freshen up the landscaping around your home. They’ll put down fresh mulch, clean up the edging around flower beds, and fill in any gaps with greenery or seasonal flowers native to southern California. Lastly, don’t forget to update the lighting. Make sure all external lighting is replaced, on, and glowing to show off your stunning upgrades!
Scrub, polish, and declutter
Before making any alterations to the interior of the home, make it sparkle. Start with the basics: deep clean from chimney to baseboards. Surfaces should be spotless and clutter-free. In general, this is a good time to move extra items into storage or get a head start on packing them up for your next home.
There’s a difference between clearing clutter and stripping your home — remove any personal items and belongings (family pictures, kids' artwork, personal collections), pare down any excessive pieces, but don’t go so far as to remove all furniture. Rooms without furniture can be perceived as smaller than they actually are, and buyers can have a harder time visualizing themselves in a home that appears vacant. Aim for clean and inviting, spacious and warm.
Hit the Highlights
Give extra attention to rooms that will receive the most discernment from potential buyers — the kitchen and bathrooms.
A kitchen can sell a home, so ensure that yours is presented in the best possible light. Countertops should be clear and clean, small appliances packed up or tucked away, and the pantry should be edited. Tidying up is a great way to showcase the space, but it’s also a sneaky way to show how much storage exists. A realtor or professional stager will be able to advise the type of updates needed, and even small changes can go a long way. Give the cabinets a fresh coat of paint if needed, or replace the hardware on cabinets and drawers.
Bathrooms need love too! Remove any hard water stains, address any old-looking grout, and recaulk any areas that need attention. Swap out older bathroom linens for those that are new and neutral; shower curtains, rugs, and fluffy bath towels can make a world of difference. Create a luxurious, spa-like ambiance with candles, artisan soaps, and accessories.
Neutral doesn’t mean boring
Now that you’ve pared down the home, removed clutter, and thoroughly polished everything, it’s time to create a sense of cohesion throughout the rooms in your home. Rely on neutral tones and timeless style to tie the house together and create even sightlines. Palettes of tans, light grays, creams, and whites accentuate the space and lighting, but don’t feel like you have to ditch color! Use accessories in colorful tones to draw attention to areas you want to highlight. Check in with your realtor for suggestions on things like accent walls or other artwork. Many times, they will encourage the use of creative colors to add interest and depth to a room.
Shine a light and create space
The best way to make your home look open and inviting is with purposeful lighting and spacing. Take advantage of natural light wherever it’s possible! Window treatments should be open to show off the sunny southern California sky. Increase the wattage in each room to create a warm and bright (but not overbearing) environment, which will benefit in-person showings and online photos. Add some variations to the light fixtures in each room and aim for a combination of ambient (overhead), task (pendant or reading), and accent (table and wall) lighting that will allow buyers to get a good look at everything your home has to offer.
Editing living spaces can be a tough task, and this is where the expert opinion of a realtor is especially helpful. Although you may be used to having the room set a certain way for any number of perfectly functional reasons, a realtor with a trained eye may recommend opening up the room by removing a piece of furniture, or by repositioning furniture to encourage a better flow and better showing experience. Clear pathways allow for buyers to better access fireplaces, bookshelves, windows, and any other features unique to your home.
Don’t forget the details!
On your final checklist, before showing, make sure closets are organized, the laundry room is neat, and medicine cabinets are orderly (and for display purposes only; remove or stow away medications and other personal items). Place bouquets of fresh flowers in the entryway or kitchen, and use diffusers with aromas of vanilla, linen, or cotton throughout the home to evoke a welcoming environment for your potential buyers.
With a few well-executed touches, you can enhance both your home and the home buying experience. By sprucing up the exterior and making sure the interior is fresh, clean, and presentable, your home will be picture-perfect and ready for its next proud owner!
If you’re ready to list your Encinitas home, real estate agent Michelle Ozanne will offer her staging expertise, sharp negotiating skills, and exceptional customer service to help make the sale of your home seamless and successful. Contact Michelle today!